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CAT 2021 Exam Analysis (Out): Check Slot 1, Slot 2, and Slot 3 Paper Review

CAT 2021 Exam Analysis: The Slot 1, 2 and 3 papers have been concluded and based on the initial reaction of candidates the overall difficulty level of slot 1 was moderate to difficult, slots 2 & 3 were moderate. The major change in CAT 2021 Question Paper is that the total number of questions has been reduced to 66. The updated distribution of questions is:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension- 24
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 20 
  • Quantitative Aptitude- 22
  • CAT 2021 Slot 1, 2, and 3 papers of VARC had the same number of RC sets i.e. 4 with 4 questions each. Also, 3 questions each had been asked from Para summary, Para Jumbles in each slot along with 2 questions from odd one out. Check CAT 2021 VARC Exam Analysis
  • Based on the experience of test takers, one question of slot 2 from the topic algebra had been repeated in slot 3. Other than that, the highest maximum number of questions had been asked from Algebra, Arithmetic in all the 3 slots. Check CAT QA Exam Analysis
  • Similarly, in all the 3 slots of CAT DILR, 2 DI sets with 6 questions each and 2 LR with 4 questions each were asked in slot 3 also. Check CAT DILR Exam Analysis
  • The weightage of RC was high in slot 1 VARC paper and of Arithmetic was high in QA paper. Based on the analysis of experts, the good attempt for VARC, DILR, and QA sections could be 16 to 18, 13 to 15, and 16 to 18 respectively. Check CAT 2021 Cut off

Download Memory Based Paper: CAT Question Paper (2021 Slot 1 & 3)

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CAT Exam Analysis 2021

CAT 2021 Exam Analysis

CAT 2021 has been conducted on November 28, 2021. Given below is the Slot 1, Slot 2, and Slot 3 CAT 2021 exam analysis.

CAT 2021 Slot 1 Exam Analysis

  • CAT QA section is of easy to moderate difficulty with maximum questions from Arithmetic, and Algebra. The questions in Slot 1 were lengthy and time consuming. 
  • CAT VARC section is of moderate difficulty level. Reading Comprehension has a maximum weightage of followed by para jumbles and summary-based questions.
  • CAT DILR questions are of moderate difficulty level.

CAT 2021 Exam Slot 2 Analysis

CAT 2021 Slot 2 has been conducted from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. The following is CAT 2021 slot 2 exam analysis:

  • CAT QA section had questions from topics- Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra. 
  • CAT VARC section had 4 RC passages of easy to moderate difficulty level. 
  • CAT DILR had 20 questions comprising graphs, charts, and caselets. The difficulty level of CAT DILR 2021 slot 2 paper was moderate.

CAT 2021 Exam Slot 3 Analysis

CAT 2021 Slot 3 has been conducted from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The overall difficulty level of this slot was similar to that of the other 2 slots. 

  • CAT QA was easy but tricky making it a bit more time-consuming. 
  • The difficulty level of CAT VARC was moderate to difficult with RC’s making up more than VA section.
  • CAT DILR was rated difficult by slot 3 candidates.
  • Like slot 1 and 2, in slot 3 of CAT DILR, 2 DI sets with 6 questions each and 2 LR with 4 questions each were asked in slot 3 also.

Particulars

Slot 1

Slot 2

Slot 3

Overall Difficulty Level

Moderate to Difficult

Moderate

Moderate

CAT VARC Difficulty

Moderate

Difficult

Moderate to Difficult

CAT QA Difficulty

Easy to Moderate

Easy to Moderate

Easy but tricky questions

CAT DILR Difficulty

Moderate to Difficult

Moderate

Difficult

VARC Topics with Maximum Weightage

RC with 4 Sets of 4 questions each, Para Jumble, Para Summary, Odd one out

RC with 4 Sets of 4 questions each, Para Jumble, Para Summary, Odd one out

RC with 4 Sets of 4 questions each, Para Jumble, Para Summary, Odd one out

QA Topics with Maximum Weightage

Algebra & Arithmetic

To be updated soon

To be updated soon

DILR Topics with Maximum Weightage

2 DI sets with 4 questions, 2 LR sets with 6 questions

2 DI sets with 4 questions, 2 LR sets with 6 questions

2 DI sets with 4 questions, 2 LR sets with 6 questions

CAT Exam Analysis 2020

CAT Exam Analysis 2020

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Analysis

The first slot of CAT 2020 was conducted from 8:30-10:30 AM.

  • Overall difficulty level was moderate as confirmed by students.
  • VARC section was most difficult while Quant and DILR was easy.
  • Question distribution was 26, 24, 26 from QA, DILR, and VARC respectively.
Sections Difficulty Level Number of Questions Topics with Most Weightage
VARC Difficult 26 Reading Comprehension, Para Summary, Odd Sentence, Para jumbles
DILR Easy 24 Drivers and Ratings, Students and Exams, 
QA Slightly Above Average 26 Arithmetic, Algebra, Logarithms, Number System, Functions, Geometry and Mensuration

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 VARC

Topic No. of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) Ideal Attempts
Reading Comprehension 18 (5+5+4+4) 14-16
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles 3 3
Verbal Ability - Summary 3 3
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles (Odd-sentence out) 2 2

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 DILR

Subject Topic No of Questions Ideal Attempts
Data Interpretation Drivers and Ratings 4 4
Students and Exams 6 3
Set on P atients 4 3
Logical Reasoning Institutes Vendors 6 3
Set on M usicians 4 4

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA

Topic No of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) Ideal Attempts
Number System 5 3-4
Algebra 8 5-6
Arithmetic 10 7-8
Modern Math - -
Geometry & Mensuration 3 1-2

CAT 2020 Slot 2 Analysis

The second slot of CAT 2020 concluded at 2:30 PM.

  • Overall difficulty level was moderate this time too.
  • VARC was the easiest section followed by QA and DILR.
  • Sectional distribution of questions were 24 from DILR, 26 from QA and 26 from VARC
Sections Difficulty Level Number of Questions Topics with Most Weightage
VARC Easy 26 RC, Para Jumble, Para Summar
DILR Moderate to Difficult 24 Sales Figures, Scheduling, Parking Slots, Votes polled
QA Moderate (tougher than 2019) 26 Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 VARC

Topic No. of Questions Ideal Attempts
Reading Comprehension 18 (5+5+4+4) 13-15
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles 3 3
Verbal Ability - Summary 3 3
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles (Odd-sentence out) 2 2

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 DILR

Subject Topic No. of Questions Ideal Attempts
Data Interpretation Voters 6 4
Revenue & Cost 4 2
Parking Caselet 4 2-3
Logical Reasoning Grid-Based Filling 4 Best left alone
Arrangement 6 4

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA

Topic No. of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) Ideal Attempt
Number System 3 2
Algebra 7 4
Arithmetic 10 6-7
Modern Math 2 1
Geometry & Mensuration 4 2-3

CAT 2020 Slot 3 Analysis

The third and final slot of CAT 2020 has concluded at 6:30 PM.

  • In keeping with the difficulty level of previous slots, this time also the paper was Moderate.
  • DIRL section was difficult while Quant was easy and tricky. VARC was moderate to difficult.
Sections Difficulty Level Number of Questions Topics with Most Weightage
VARC Moderate to Difficult 26 RC, Para Jumble, Summar, Odd One Out
DILR Difficult 24 Venn Diagram, Schedule, Games & Tournament based Set
QA Easy but tricky 26 Arithmetic, Algebra

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 VARC

Topic No. of Questions Ideal Attempt
Reading Comprehension 18 (5+5+4+4) 14-15
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles 3 3
Verbal Ability - Summary 3 3
Verbal Ability - Parajumbles (Odd-sentence out) 2 2

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 DILR

Subject Topic No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning HI-LO 6 Difficult
People & Area 6 Difficult
Venn Diagram 4 Easy-Moderate
Vials & People 4 Moderate
Orders 4 Moderate

Question Breakup of CAT 2020 QA

Topic No. of Questions (MCQ/non-MCQ) Ideal Attempt
Number System 3 2
Algebra 5 3
Arithmetic 10 6-7
Geometry & Mensuration 5 2-3
Co-ordinate Geometry 3 2

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CAT Exam Analysis 2019

CAT Exam Analysis 2019

Slot 2 difficulty level was almost similar to Slot 1, with minor additional tricky questions in the DILR section of the CAT 2019. The Reading and Verbal Ability was once again the surprising element of the paper with the difficulty level of the language raising quite a few eyebrows. The Verbal Ability as a section has been considered to be the toughest in a time frame of 2 years. The other 2 sections were relatively manageable with time with the key focus ideally being laid on accuracy.

Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning

  • The section for VARC was much harder than the other two sections of the paper as informed by the test-takers.
  • There were five passages for Reading in Slot-2 as well.
  • Four passages out of the five had five individual problems in each and one of them had four questions.
  • One of the RC sections was pretty complex and verbose; which made it really difficult for some of the applicants to even attempt.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • The Slot-2 reactions of students were a bit different for the DILR Section as compared to Slot-1.
  • The section was reported to throw a few more tricky questions but was still manageable within the 60-minute mark.
  • The brevity of this section was comprising of 24 MCQs and eight non-MCQs. There were eight sets each of four questions among which three were DI sets.

Quantitative Analysis

As per the students' reactions, Quantitative Ability section was the easiest of the three and even easier as compared to the 2018 CAT. 

  • A few students reported it to be lengthier and that is aspirants with good time management would have managed more attempts.
  • 15+ Questions were quite straightforward based on Arithmetic and were relatively easier as compared to the section that came up in previous year's papers.

The paper, as per the test-takers who showed up in CAT 2019 slot-1, was according to their desires and investigation is the equivalent by training focuses also. A general score of 155-162 could get 99 percentile in this opening. CAT 2019 Result will be pronounced in the second seven day stretch of January 2020. Around 12,000 seats in IIMs will be filled based on CAT 2019 Results. A year ago 11 applicants got 100 percentile, 21 understudies got 99.99 percentile.


CAT Analysis Over the Years

CAT Exam Analysis Over the Years

  • Total number of questions was 100 in MCQ and Non-MCQ format. Read CAT MCQ Questions: Section-wise Analysis
  • Paper comprised of 3 sections: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude.
  • Time limit of 1 hour was allotted for each section
  • In the Paper Analysis of CAT 2018, it showed that a lot of the questions in the DILR section were mixed, with some being conventional and one or two ‘difficult to answer’ questions
  • Last year’s QA Paper Analysis revealed that the questions in that section included more logic and calculation and not a lot of theory  

Read on to know about the CAT paper analysis of 2018 & 2017 and check the exam analysis of CAT from last 4 years (2018 – 2015). 

CAT Year 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Exam Date November 24 November 25 November 26 December 4 November 29
CAT Conducting IIM IIM Kozhikode IIM Calcutta IIM Lucknow IIM Bangalore IIM Ahmedabad
Total Questions | Sections | Duration 100| 3 | 3hrs. 100| 3 | 3hrs. 100 | 3 | 3hrs. 100 | 3 | 3hrs. 100 | 3 | 3hrs.
Marking Scheme Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1

Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1

Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Correct Answer: +1
Wrong Answer: - 0.33
Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Number of MCQs 75 75 74 75 72
Number of Non-MCQs 25 25 26 25 28
Name of Sections with Number of Questions VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34

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CAT Exam Analysis 2018

CAT Exam Analysis 2018

CAT 2018 was conducted by IIM Calcutta on November 25. More than two lakhs candidates appeared to take the test. 

  • The overall difficulty level of the exam was high. 
  • DILR was difficult and the quant section was intensively calculative. 
  • RC passages were very lengthy. 
  • IIM Calcutta maintained its reputation in keeping the difficulty level of Quants section high.
  • A score of 154 was enough to get 99 percentile in CAT 2018. While in 2017, a score of 174 was required for the same. 

CAT 2018 Section-wise Analysis

The section-wise analysis for CAT 2018 is as follows:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VILR)

  • The section had 34 questions.
  • There were 27 MCQs and 7 Non-MCQs.
  • RC based questions were 24 in number.
  • The passages were around 400-600 words, which is shorter in length in comparison to the previous year.
  • Slot 2 RC questions were a bit tricky in nature.
  • Passages were based on topics like Plastic pollution, World War II, Consumer behavior, etc.
Segment   Topic  No. of Total Questions
RC (Reading Comprehension)   Reading Comprehension   24
VA (Verbal Ability)   Para Jumble   4 
 Summary   3 
 Para Jumble (Odd Sentence Out)  3

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • The difficulty level of DILR section was moderate to high. 
  • DI sets were a combination of easy, moderate and slightly difficult. Check Detailed Paper Analysis for DILR Section
  • One of the DI sets was direct and involved basic calculations. Two were moderate in terms of difficulty and rest two were slightly tougher. 
  • LR section was observed to be of a moderate difficulty level.
  • Questions were from Coding, Set Theory, etc.
Segment   Topic   No. of Total Questions 
Data Interpretation   Pie Chart:  Annual/ Half yearly / Quarter   Sales   4
 ATM: Denominations of 100, 200, and 500   4
 Set Theory: 1600 Rockets were   launched   4
Logical Reasoning   Matrix: Adjacent Cells   4
 10 Friends: Scores in DI / WE / GK   4 
 4 Females, 4 Males: Minor and Major   4 
 3 Committees: Research / Teaching /   Economist  4 
1-20 Petrol Pumps   4

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • The section consisted of 34 questions.
  • There were 12 Non-MCQs in the QA section.
  • A considerable number of questions came from Arithmetic and Algebra. 
  • The calculations in the section were intensive.
  • QA was seen as a difficult section by the candidates
 Segment   Topic   No. of Total Questions 
 Quantitative Ability   Number System   2 
 Algebra   8 
 Arithmetic   14 
 Modern Math   3
 Geometry and Mensuration 7

Check  Detailed Paper Analysis for QA Section

Check the table given below to get an idea about the section-wise analysis of CAT 2018 exam.

Section  Total Number of Question Non-MCQs MCQs Difficulty Level Good Attempts 
Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 1 Slot 2

VARC

34 34 7 7 27 27 Moderate Moderate 28+
DILR 32 32 8 8 24 24 Moderate-Difficult Difficult 16+
Quant 34 34 12 12 22 22 Moderate-Difficult  Moderate-Difficult  15+ 
Total  60+

CAT Exam Analysis 2017

CAT Exam Analysis 2017

CAT 2017 was conducted on November 26. Approximately 2 lakhs candidates took the test. In CAT 2017,

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning was the toughest section.
  • Quantitative Ability was the easiest of three with Arithmetic dominating the section.
  • Overall the question papers of both the slots were of the moderate-difficult level
  • For the first time, CAT Answer Key was released by the conducting body for the candidates to refer to.

CAT 2017 Section-wise Analysis

  • CAT 2017 was conducted in 2 sessions on the same day.
  • Questions from Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Quantitative Ability (QA) were asked.
  • As per the reactions of the test-takers, the difficulty level of the exam was moderate.

CAT 2017 Analysis (Slot 1)

Read below CAT 2017 Analysis for Slot 1:

Section Total No. of Questions No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Difficulty Level Good Attempts 

VARC

34

27

7

Easy-moderate

26-27

DI & LR

32

24

8

Difficult

12-14

QA

34

23

11

Easy-moderate

25-26

Total

100

75

26

3 Hours

63-67
  • In VA, there were 7 Non-MCQ & 3 MCQ questions. RC in CAT 2017 had 24 questions. The overall difficulty level of the section was moderate.
  • DILR continued to be tough since the questions were reasoning based. There were 8 sets of 4 questions each which were quite indirect and tricky. Four sets were completely MCQ, whereas the remaining four were a combination of TITA and MCQs. 
  • QA was the easiest section to attempt, giving students a sigh of relief. Questions were direct, giving room to a higher CAT Cutoff this year. Questions were easily manageable and were not time-consuming.

CAT 2017 Analysis (Slot 2)

  • Slot 2 was conducted from 2.30- 5.30 pm.
  • The difficulty level of the paper was similar to the first slot, i.e., moderate. 

Read below CAT 2017 Analysis for Slot 2:

Section No. of Ques. No. of non-MCQ questions Difficulty Level Good Attempts

Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension

34

7

Easy-moderate

25-27

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

32

8

Difficult

12-14

Quantitative Ability

34

8

Easy-Moderate

25-26

Total

100

23

(-)

64-68

  • DILR was the toughest to attempt, although it was easier than the first slot.
  • VARC was of moderate difficulty level. Questions were either direct or inference based. TITA or non-MCQs were from the Verbal Ability or English Usage area. 
  • QA was the easiest to attempt in both the slots.
Note: As CAT 2017 was conducted in 2 sessions on the same day, to maintain the equality in scores, authorities follow a formula for calculating the scores. Know about CAT Normalisation Procedure

CAT Exam Analysis 2016

CAT Exam Analysis 2016

  • CAT 2016 did not undergo any changes in its exam pattern. However, the difficulty level went up, which was a little expected.
  • While VARC was easy to attempt, DILR was troublesome for the examinees. The Quants section gave night-mare to all, in terms of the difficulty level and topic distribution.
  • The overall CAT 2016 was of the moderate-difficult level.

Given below is the section-wise CAT 2016 Analysis:

Section No. of Ques. Difficulty Level Good Attempts Total Marks
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 Easy 27-28 102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 Moderate-Difficult 14-16 96
Quantitative Ability 34 Moderate-Difficult 22-25 102
 - 100  -  - 300

CAT Exam Analysis 2015

CAT Exam Analysis 2015

IIM Ahmedabad conducted CAT 2015. Minor additions were made, such as the introduction of the on-screen calculator and subjective questions. The weightage of each section remained the same, as observed in CAT 2014.

  • QA & DI was 34+ 16 and VA+ LR was 34 + 16.
  • In CAT 2015, the sections got shuffled as QA-34, LR+DI-16+16, and VARC-34.

Section-wise CAT 2015 Analysis:

Section No. of Ques. Difficulty Level Good Attempts Total Marks
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 Easy 27-28 102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 Moderate-Difficult 16 96
Quantitative Ability 34 Moderate 25-27 102
 - 100  - 70+ 300

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CAT Exam Analysis 2014

CAT Exam Analysis 2014

CAT 2014 Exam was slightly different as compared to CAT 2013 since it underwent a few changes. The time duration went up to 170 minutes, without any sectional limit. Changes in the pattern brought about a drop in its level of difficulty and as a consequence, the scaled down score for a 99 percentile went up to 190+. 

Section No. of Ques. Difficulty Level Good Attempts Total Marks
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 50 (34+16) Easy 35+ 150
Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning 50 (34+16) Easy- Moderate 35+ 150
(-) 100 Easy 70+ 300

Frequently Asked Questions

CAT Exam Analysis 2021 FAQs

Ques: How many questions should I attempt to get 99+ percentile?

Ans: The total number of questions in CAT are 100 in which for each correct answers you will earn +3 and for every wrong answer -1 will be deducted (In case of MCQs not TITAs). Depending upon the difficulty level of CAT question paper over the past few years, we have formulated a table of the number of questions that candidates may attempt to get an overall percentile score of 99 and above.

Sections Total Attempts Net Score
Quantitative Analysis 23 - 25 out of 34 70 - 75
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 20 - 24 out of 32 65 - 70
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 20 - 22 out of 34 55 - 60
Total Score 175

Ques: What is considered to be a good attempt in CAT?

Ans: CAT score of 85+ is considered good as it may make you land in top private B-schools of the country other than IIMs. So, if you fail to get above 90 percentile, you can also get top colleges if you score 85+. 

Ques: Which section amongst all is considered the toughest in CAT? 

Ans: There is no definite section which is considered tough each year. It completely depends on candidate’s preparation. But depending upon the question papers of last few years, CAT QA and CAT DILR have had moderate-difficult level intensity 

Ques: Is CAT conducted in offline mode also?

Ans: No, CAT was previously conducted in offline mode. From 2009 onwards, CAT is being conducted in online mode only. 

Ques: Will there be any repetitions of questions in CAT 2021? 

Ans: Usually no exact questions are asked in CAT, but candidates need to understand the pattern/types of questions asked in the exam. Questions with exact data are never asked in the exam but same type of question with different data and different difficulty may be asked. 

Ques: Is there any option to switch between the sections while taking CAT 2021?

Ans: Candidates taking the exam can not switch to attempt another section as the sequence and time slot to attempt the test is fixed. Students have to complete one section in 60 minutes to move forward to another section. 

Ques: How many questions should I attempt in CAT 2021 to become eligible for admission in IIMs?

Ans: IIMs have their own selection process, individual IIMs releases their cutoff. Candidates who are taking CAT have to reach that cutoff in order to get a call from one of the IIMs. As per the previous year analysis, candidates have to score more than 97 percentile (minimum) to get admission in IIM. 

Ques: Which section of CAT contains toughest questions that need more practice?

Ans: Quantitative Aptitude section is the toughest among all other sections. Students need to be focussed on the same and practice a lot in order to ace the section. 

Ques: Over the past five years, is there any format set over the difficulty level of the section?

Ans: There is no set format of the difficulty level of the question in the exam. The difficulty level of the exam may vary as per the section. Rest each and everything depends upon the candidate’s preparation. CAT is a difficult exam, candidates must prepare for the exam really well to ace each section with flying colours.

Ques: Will CAT 2021 question papers of slot 1, slot 2, and slot 3 be of the same difficulty level?

Ans: Yes, the difficulty level of CAT question papers of different slots will be slightly different as the questions will be unique to all of them. However, to measure the performance of every candidate on same scale, the marks will be normalised.

Ques: Which CAT question paper will be more difficult — slot 1, slot 2, or slot 3?

Ans: Either of the question papers can turn out to be more difficult. There is no pattern to this, since every year a different IIM conducts the exam and the team, which sets the question paper, is also different.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

Comments


1 Comments
A
Anonymous
What section was toughest in last year’s exam?
M
manika gupta

Hi Arushi, The level of Reading Comprehension was the toughest in the last 5 years. Level of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning was also tough. Quantitative Aptitude section was the easiest.


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